A History of Neo-Paganism and Druidry: 11 – Describe the groups that have split off from ADF, their history and work.

6 08 2017

Describe the groups that have split off from ADF, their history and work. (minimum 600 words)

During the 34 years of ADF’s history, there have been various groups that have split off from Ar nDraoicht Fein to form their own groups. They were often unhappy at something ADF was doing, and ADF refused to change it. I will explain the story behind two of these groups – the Celtic Traditional Order of Druids and The Henge of Keltria.

The first of these groups was the Celtic Traditional Order of Druids. They are “dedicated to the preservation and rebirth of the worship of the ancient Gods and Goddesses, primarily those of the Celtic nations….as well as other related lands and peoples.” The order began in 1986, but due to fast growth and a successful large public ritual, there was a power struggle and the group fell apart. One of the founders joined ADF and rose to the position of Vice Arch-Druid, thanks to Isaac Bonewits urging. However, the remaining members of the old Celtic Traditional Order of Druids eventually asked her to come back and get things started again. She left Ar nDraiocht Fein and restarted the Celtic Traditional Order of Druids again. This time it has survived and thrived. Like ADF, it now has a study course based around nine modules – health, hearth, history, creativity, compassion, communication, magic, muse-craft and management.

The second organisation is the Henge of Keltria. Again, in 1986, at the Pagan Spirit Gathering, five of the ADF members were getting concerned about the direction Ar nDraiocht Fein was going in and created a list of thirteen concerns. Following the example of Martin Luther in Germany during the Protestant Reformation, they taped the list to Isaac Bonewits door. They wanted their concerns to be addressed immediately but they claim that nothing happened, and so the following year, in 1987, two of the five, Pat and Tony Taylor, left ADF and formed their own organisation, the Henge of Keltria. It was similar to Ar nDraiocht Fein in some ways, but there were big differences too, that were designed to address their concerns. They gave it a Celtic only focus in contrast to ADF’s Pan-Europeanism. They wanted the rituals to be held in private rather than public as they felt that the possibility of people walking by during rituals was distracting. They also wanted more of a focus on mysticism and magic than ADF was providing at the time. ADF has since built a lot more magic and mysticism into its practices, particularly with the Initiate Program. The Henge of Keltria differs in some of its rites too, for example they hold a Vervain rite. Isaac Bonewits argues that some of these details are different to what he remembers, but he does acknowledge that there were communication problems in ADF at the time the Henge of Keltria was formed.

The Henge of Keltria states that it is “a form of modern Druidry, a spiritual path dedicated to revering the Nature Spirits, honouring the Ancestors, and celebrating the Tuatha Dé Danann, the Gaelic pantheon once worshiped throughout Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Mann.” It is one of the first American Druid Orders explicitly having a Celtic only focus. It has produced a variety of books, including a ritual book called The Henge of Keltria book of Ritual, and has an official newsletter called Henge Happenings.

Both groups continue to exist and are successful in what they are trying to achieve, however neither compare to the development of Ar nDraiocht Fein which is now the largest and most successful Druid group in America, with groves across the country as well as members in Canada, Europe and beyond.

 

Bibilography

Ellis, Peter B. The Druids. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Pub Co, 1998. Print.

Adler, Margot. Drawing down the moon witches, Druids, goddess-worshippers, and other pagans in America today. New York, N.Y: Penguin/Arkana, 2006. Print.

Hutton, Ronald. The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996. Print.

Bonewits, Isaac. “Defining Paganism: Paleo-, Meso-, and Neo-.” Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “Frequently Asked Questions about Neopagan Druidism.” Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “The Origins of Ár nDraíocht Féin.” Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “What Neopagans Believe.” Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “The Reformed Druids of North America and their Offshoots.” Web.

Hopman, Ellen Evert. “The Origins of the Henge of Keltria.” Web.

Meith, Vickie, and Howard Meith. “The Origins of the Celtic Traditionalist Order of Druids.” Web.

Thuin, Dylan Ap. “The Origins of the Insular Order of Druids.” Web

https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Golden-Bough

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Graves

http://www.keltria.org/

http://pss.uvm.edu/ppp/articles/holgreens.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yule

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handfasting_(Neopaganism)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dion_Fortune

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermetic_Order_of_the_Golden_Dawn

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermeticism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceremonial_magic

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Jung





A History of Neo-Paganism and Druidry: 10 – Discuss the origins of the RDNA, and the influence of Isaac Bonewits, and the founding of ADF.

6 08 2017

Discuss the origins of the RDNA, and the influence of Isaac Bonewits, and the founding of ADF. (minimum 600 words)

The Reformed Druids of North America began as a protest at Carleton College. The students were protesting a rule forcing them to attend religious services. They formed the RDNA as a way to attend religious services without having to go to Church, and thereby undermine the requirement. The protest worked and the requirement was abolished in 1964. However, what was meant to be a bit of a joke, and much to the surprise of its founders, carried on and spread, and continues even today with around 50 groves.

The Reformed Druids of North America has two main tenets – 1) “The object of the search for religious truth, which is a universal and a never-ending search, may be found through the Earth-Mother; which is Nature; but this is one way, one way among many.” 2) “And great is the importance, which is of a spiritual importance of Nature, which is the Earth-Mother; for it is one of the objects of Creation, and with it do people live, yea, even as they do struggle through life are they come face-to-face with it.” These are usually shortened to 1) Nature is good, and 2) Nature is good!

The RDNA honoured the Earth Mother, Be’al (a non-material essence of the universe) as well as many other primarily Celtic deities such as Belenos, Taranis, Sirona, Llyr and Danu. They created the Druid Chronicles, written in biblical style language, as well as an Order of Worship. They hold ceremonies on the eight high days of year – the Solstices, Equinox’s and Cross Quarter days. The rituals also include the Waters of Life, which has been adopted into ADF. This involves passing around and sharing a drink (often Whiskey), “to symbolise the link between all things and nature.”

In Berkeley California, one grove included Isaac Bonewits. In 1969, he was a priest in the grove and he wrote “The Druid Chronicles” for the Reformed Druids of North America. He also played a major role in moving the RDNA towards Neo-Paganism. Bonewits started and then became the Arch-Druid of the Mother Grove of the New Reformed Druids of North America Berkeley.

Eventually, Bonewits realised that the RDNA did not suit him as it was much more philosophical than religious and so he decided to create Ar nDaiocht Fein as “an attempt to reconstruct, using the best scholarship available, what the Paleo-Pagan Druids actually did, and then to apply such knowledge to creating a Neo-Pagan religion appropriate for the modern world….It would create rituals and liturgy and would set up a complex training program to achieve excellence.” In 1983, he published a letter, which officially began Ar nDaiocht Fein and set out his aims. It would be Pan-European rather than just Celtic, i.e all the Indo-European cultures would be represented and looked to for inspiration. It would be pluralistic and explicitly polytheist, worshipping many deities. Bonewits wanted it to have a professionally trained clergy of both men and women and emphasised the idea of “why not excellence?” In keeping with modern attitudes, it would oppose any sexism, racism or homophobia. It would be unashamedly hierarchical (with Bonewits as Arch-Druid). The services would be public and open to anyone. The religious practices would be based on the best scholarship available (such as George Dumezil, Anne Ross and Mircea Eliade) to make it as accurate a reconstruction as possible, while being suited to the modern age (avoiding such things as animal or human sacrifice). It was a vision that would inspire many people, and over 30 years later, it is now the largest Druid organisation in North America and is growing internationally.

 

Bibilography

Ellis, Peter B. The Druids. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Pub Co, 1998. Print.

Adler, Margot. Drawing down the moon witches, Druids, goddess-worshippers, and other pagans in America today. New York, N.Y: Penguin/Arkana, 2006. Print.

Hutton, Ronald. The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996. Print.

Bonewits, Isaac. “Defining Paganism: Paleo-, Meso-, and Neo-.” Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “Frequently Asked Questions about Neopagan Druidism.” Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “The Origins of Ár nDraíocht Féin.” Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “What Neopagans Believe.” Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “The Reformed Druids of North America and their Offshoots.” Web.

Hopman, Ellen Evert. “The Origins of the Henge of Keltria.” Web.

Meith, Vickie, and Howard Meith. “The Origins of the Celtic Traditionalist Order of Druids.” Web.

Thuin, Dylan Ap. “The Origins of the Insular Order of Druids.” Web

https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Golden-Bough

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Graves

http://www.keltria.org/

http://pss.uvm.edu/ppp/articles/holgreens.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yule

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handfasting_(Neopaganism)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dion_Fortune

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermetic_Order_of_the_Golden_Dawn

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermeticism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceremonial_magic

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Jung





A History of Neo-Paganism and Druidry: 9 – Discuss the origins of the Druidic revival in 18th and 19th century England, naming its key players and describing their contributions.

6 08 2017

Discuss the origins of the Druidic revival in 18th and 19th century England, naming its key players and describing their contributions. (minimum 600 words)

After a thousand years shrouded in the mist of time, the Druids were rediscovered as a part of history thanks to the Renaissance in Europe and its interest in the authors of the Classical world. It began in France, but by the end of the 16th century, the first books about Druids were being translated into English. Since then, there have been a variety of figures who have helped to define our image of the Druids and led to the revival of Druidic spirituality.

It began in 1649 with John Aubrey and his theory that Stonehenge had been built by the Druids (as opposed to the theory that it was built by the Romans) as a Temple. Henry Rolands promoted the idea that they were Old Testament style figures worshipping on stone altars in sacred Oak groves, while John Toland wrote a history of Druids in 1726 claiming that they were related to the stone circles. These writings, along with the poetry of John Thomson, William Collins and Thomas Gray, changed people’s attitudes towards Druids and created the image of the Druid as nature worshippers.

At the time, there were also major changes going on in society which helped pave the way for the emergence of the Druids into national consciousness – there was a reaction against the enlightenment and reason leading to the emergence of Romanticism. In France, the social changes led people to look to the Druids as a source of national identity and ancestry, while in Britain, there were no longer any uprisings from Celtic countries which meant the British public were more open to the contributions from Celtic culture.

In 1740, William Stukeley published “Stonehenge: A Temple Restored to the British Druids” which endorsed the theories of Aubrey. Ellis writes that Stukeley “brought the Druids to Stonehenge and into modern folklore in a way that captured the public imagination and which still has repercussions to this day.” He claimed they worshipped a giant serpent in stonehenge and were part of a priesthood traceable to Abraham.

Meanwhile Poets like William Blake and Thomas Gray helped spread an image of Druids as prophetic poets and wise sages dispensing wisdom under oak trees. Other emphasised their role in human sacrifice.

In Wales, where Druids were viewed as Bards, another key figure in the revival of Druidry was to emerge – Edward Williams, better known as Iolo Morganwg. After attending an Eisteddfod in Corwen in May 1789, he became fascinated with the Druids. He claimed they had continued in Glamorgan to his day and he created a Druidic ritual which was held on 21st June 1792 on Primrose Hill in London. He managed to convince the Eisteddfods to include his Gorsedd, and was responsible for many elements that still exist in Druid Revival groups today, such as the three orders of Bard, Ovate and Druid, the Druids wearing white robes, and the Call of Peace. After Evan Evans collected and translated Welsh poetry, claiming that they were written by 6th century poet Taliesin, Morganwg took this further and claimed the poems could teach a complete system of Druidry. While Morganwg did help to create 200 years of tradition in Celtic culture and promote respect for their cultural endeavours, his inventions and fabrications poisoned “the well of genuine scholarship in early Celtic literature for generations to come.”

Druids became very popular and even ended up in Italian Opera, while people created their own stone circles. But the next big stage in the Druid revival happened when Henry Hurle created the Ancient Order of Druids in 1781. This grew, created its own journal and included members such as Winston Churchill. While it split several times, and by 1918 there were five druid groups trying to perform rituals at Stonehenge, it also became the ancestor organisation for the new Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. This order was created by Ross Nichols in 1963 and has gone on to become the largest Druid order in the world.

The influence of the Druids has continued since the 1960’s, being embraced by the new age and hippy movement, the renewal of Celtic Christianity and appearing in many books and films since. While a lot of Revival Druidry is a modern invention, and the romantic images of the Druids probably bears little resemblance to the facts of history, there is no doubt that the influence of key figures like John Aubrey, William Stukeley, Iolo Morganwg and Henry Hurle has opened up new possibilities for exploring Druidry and led to its popularity in our national consciousness today.

 

Bibilography

Ellis, Peter B. The Druids. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Pub Co, 1998. Print.

Adler, Margot. Drawing down the moon witches, Druids, goddess-worshippers, and other pagans in America today. New York, N.Y: Penguin/Arkana, 2006. Print.

Hutton, Ronald. The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996. Print.

Bonewits, Isaac. “Defining Paganism: Paleo-, Meso-, and Neo-.” Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “Frequently Asked Questions about Neopagan Druidism.” Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “The Origins of Ár nDraíocht Féin.” Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “What Neopagans Believe.” Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “The Reformed Druids of North America and their Offshoots.” Web.

Hopman, Ellen Evert. “The Origins of the Henge of Keltria.” Web.

Meith, Vickie, and Howard Meith. “The Origins of the Celtic Traditionalist Order of Druids.” Web.

Thuin, Dylan Ap. “The Origins of the Insular Order of Druids.” Web

https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Golden-Bough

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Graves

http://www.keltria.org/

http://pss.uvm.edu/ppp/articles/holgreens.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yule

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handfasting_(Neopaganism)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dion_Fortune

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermetic_Order_of_the_Golden_Dawn

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermeticism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceremonial_magic

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Jung





A History of Neo-Paganism and Druidry: 8 – Discuss the influence of the Internet, and how it has changed Paganism in the 1990s.

6 08 2017

Discuss the influence of the Internet, and how it has changed Paganism in the 1990s (minimum 100 words)

In the early 2000’s James Lewis pointed out that there were over 5000 Pagan websites on the internet. Witches voice had received over 4 million unique visitors. The internet was beginning to have a big impact on Paganism. Just as with festivals, the coming of the Internet in the 1990’s brought a big growth in Paganism, especially a growth in solitaries and increased people’s ability to network with each other and end isolation.

A new group of “Internet Pagans” emerged. They found information about Paganism online and became Pagans, however rather than affiliating to an organisation, they remained as solitaries and networked through chat rooms.

This new trend led to more unique rituals being created – this time for cyberspace. However, some argued that as people weren’t meeting each other, it was superficial and there was no real connection. Today the Internet is still having a major impact on Paganism and helping it to grow and be recognised as a world religion.

 

Bibilography

Ellis, Peter B. The Druids. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Pub Co, 1998. Print.

Adler, Margot. Drawing down the moon witches, Druids, goddess-worshippers, and other pagans in America today. New York, N.Y: Penguin/Arkana, 2006. Print.

Hutton, Ronald. The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996. Print.

Bonewits, Isaac. “Defining Paganism: Paleo-, Meso-, and Neo-.” Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “Frequently Asked Questions about Neopagan Druidism.” Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “The Origins of Ár nDraíocht Féin.” Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “What Neopagans Believe.” Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “The Reformed Druids of North America and their Offshoots.” Web.

Hopman, Ellen Evert. “The Origins of the Henge of Keltria.” Web.

Meith, Vickie, and Howard Meith. “The Origins of the Celtic Traditionalist Order of Druids.” Web.

Thuin, Dylan Ap. “The Origins of the Insular Order of Druids.” Web

https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Golden-Bough

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Graves

http://www.keltria.org/

http://pss.uvm.edu/ppp/articles/holgreens.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yule

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handfasting_(Neopaganism)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dion_Fortune

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermetic_Order_of_the_Golden_Dawn

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermeticism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceremonial_magic

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Jung





A History of Neo-Paganism and Druidry: 7 – Discuss the influence of the Pagan festival movement, and how the festivals changed Paganism in the 1980s.

6 08 2017

Discuss the influence of the Pagan festival movement, and how the festivals changed Paganism in the 1980s. (minimum 100 words)

In the late 1970’s the Pagan community primarily communicated by newsletter and finding others was very hard. But with the rise of festivals, the face of Paganism was to change dramatically. Once they began, the grew very fast. In 1985 there were 50 regional or national gatherings and by 1995, there were 350. In 1983 there were 23 festivals lasting more than two days, but this had grown to 347 by 1995. Some festivals had up to 1000 or more attendees. At first they were mostly indoors, but later moved outdoors.

The rise of festivals dramatically changed Paganism. Adler says they “created a national Pagan community, a body of nationally shared chants, dances, stories and ritual techniques” and that “within a few years a body of chants, songs and techniques for working large group rituals was known to thousands of people.” Before the festival movement, most of Paganism was practiced in small groups, but now the rituals had to be adapted to larger groups. This led to a lot of learning and the creation of new types of ritual processes. This in turn affected the practice of smaller groups who brought back a new sense of playfulness, humour and much more use of songs and chants.

In addition, the Festivals created a new culture and community. They brought people together, exposed them to new ideas, replaced divisiveness with unity and challenged people’s assumptions. They made people feel like part of something big again. They helped them believe that a new Pagan culture could be built and gave Pagans a new group identity. Pagans could finally be themselves as they met others with similar beliefs and values. And what was learned at the festivals, was often brought back to their own covens and small groups. There were a lot more men and women’s separate rituals, a lot more drumming which allowed people ecstatic experiences and a lot more opportunities for crafts, music and Pagan businesses.

But it wasn’t all positive, with the growth in the size of festivals came less of a feeling of community, more focus on entertainment rather than spiritual experience, a dumbing down so it was more family friendly and more materialism. There was also probably a lot of uniqueness destroyed and more standardisation.

 

Bibilography

Ellis, Peter B. The Druids. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Pub Co, 1998. Print.

Adler, Margot. Drawing down the moon witches, Druids, goddess-worshippers, and other pagans in America today. New York, N.Y: Penguin/Arkana, 2006. Print.

Hutton, Ronald. The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996. Print.

Bonewits, Isaac. “Defining Paganism: Paleo-, Meso-, and Neo-.” Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “Frequently Asked Questions about Neopagan Druidism.” Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “The Origins of Ár nDraíocht Féin.” Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “What Neopagans Believe.” Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “The Reformed Druids of North America and their Offshoots.” Web.

Hopman, Ellen Evert. “The Origins of the Henge of Keltria.” Web.

Meith, Vickie, and Howard Meith. “The Origins of the Celtic Traditionalist Order of Druids.” Web.

Thuin, Dylan Ap. “The Origins of the Insular Order of Druids.” Web

https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Golden-Bough

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Graves

http://www.keltria.org/

http://pss.uvm.edu/ppp/articles/holgreens.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yule

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handfasting_(Neopaganism)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dion_Fortune

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermetic_Order_of_the_Golden_Dawn

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermeticism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceremonial_magic

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Jung





A History of Neo-Paganism and Druidry: 6 – Discuss the origins and practices of hermetic or ceremonial magic, and how they have influenced Neopaganism.

6 08 2017

Discuss the origins and practices of hermetic or ceremonial magic, and how they have influenced Neopaganism. (minimum 300 words)

Ceremonial Magic is sometimes called High Magic and is based on complex rituals. It is influenced by Hermetic Qabalah, Enochian Magic and Thelema, as well as various old magical grimoires and the term first appeared in 16th century books on renaissance magic. Much ceremonial magic can be traced back to the influence of Hermeticism, based on the writings of Hermes Trismegistus and his “three parts of wisdom” – alchemy, astrology and theurgy. Hermeticism is particularly influential in modern Hellenic neo-paganism, as well as being responsible for such phrases as “as above, so below” often used in Wicca.

Ceremonial Magic was popularised in the 19th and 20th centuries by the Order of the Golden Dawn, a UK based organisation founded in 1887, which studied the occult, in particular, theurgy and spiritual development. Its system of magic included Hermetic Qabalah, the four elements, astrology, tarot, geomancy, alchemy and astral travel. The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn didn’t last very long but at its height had over 100 members, including the very famous ceremonial magician Aleister Crowley. It even spread to North America.

The Order of the Golden Dawn was also influenced by the writings of Eliphas Levi, who’s books and magical system led to the importance of Tarot in Western occult systems.

The Order of the Golden Dawn went on to influence some key figures in the history of Neopaganism, in particular Aleister Crowley and Gerald Gardner (and through them Wicca). Crowley is well known for his law of Thelema and his definition of Magick, still used by many Pagans today as the “science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with Will.” Some even claim that Gardner hired Crowley to write the Gardnerian rituals, however there is little evidence of this.

Hermeticism, and ceremonial magicians and systems such as the Order of the Golden Dawn, Aleister Crowley and Eliphas Levi have had a huge influence on the development of Wicca and other Neopagan organisations during the 20th century.

 

Bibilography

Ellis, Peter B. The Druids. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Pub Co, 1998. Print.

Adler, Margot. Drawing down the moon witches, Druids, goddess-worshippers, and other pagans in America today. New York, N.Y: Penguin/Arkana, 2006. Print.

Hutton, Ronald. The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996. Print.

Bonewits, Isaac. “Defining Paganism: Paleo-, Meso-, and Neo-.” Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “Frequently Asked Questions about Neopagan Druidism.” Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “The Origins of Ár nDraíocht Féin.” Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “What Neopagans Believe.” Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “The Reformed Druids of North America and their Offshoots.” Web.

Hopman, Ellen Evert. “The Origins of the Henge of Keltria.” Web.

Meith, Vickie, and Howard Meith. “The Origins of the Celtic Traditionalist Order of Druids.” Web.

Thuin, Dylan Ap. “The Origins of the Insular Order of Druids.” Web

https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Golden-Bough

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Graves

http://www.keltria.org/

http://pss.uvm.edu/ppp/articles/holgreens.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yule

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handfasting_(Neopaganism)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dion_Fortune

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermetic_Order_of_the_Golden_Dawn

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermeticism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceremonial_magic

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Jung





A History of Neo-Paganism and Druidry: 5 – Compare and contrast your understanding of three various forms of Neopaganism, such as Wicca, Asatru, eclectic Neopaganism, shamanism, and discordianism.

6 08 2017

Compare and contrast your understanding of three various forms of Neopaganism, such as Wicca, Asatru, eclectic Neopaganism, shamanism, and discordianism. (minimum 300 words)

I am going to compare Wicca, Heathenry and Druidry. While they share a lot of similarities, there are also important differences too.

Wicca was arguably created by Gerald Gardner in the early 1950’s. It comes from the Old English Wicce. It is a duo-theistic religion honouring a God and a Goddess. The God is the horned lord of animals, as well as being a god of the hunt, forest and death. The Goddess is a triple goddess represented in the phases of the moon, and the archetypes of Maiden, Mother and Crone. Wiccans emphasise the raising and use of magic in their rituals, they have eight festivals called Sabbats, as well as the monthly Esbats, and the often believe in reincarnation and the Wiccan Rede “An it harm none, do as ye will.” There are many denominations of Wicca, including Gardnerian, Seax, Alexandrian and Dianic. Wiccans meet in small groups called Covens and are often secret.

Heathenry, also known as Asatru, is a religion focused on the gods of Northern Europe. In particular, these are the Norse and Anglo-Saxon gods such as Odin/ Woden, Thor/ Thunor, Tyr/ Tiw and Frigg/ Frige. Asatru, the most well-known denomination within heathenry, means “belief in the Aesir.” The Aesir, along with the Vanir, are the main gods in Heathenry. It is a very polytheistic religion, and unlike Wicca, Heathens are focused much more on the religious elements rather than magic in their rituals. They also tend to be more Conservative and focused on family, household and community. Important concepts in Heathenry include Wyrd (or fate), that “We Are Our Deeds”, and ancestor veneration. Heathen rituals can be blots which are sacrifices to the gods, or Sumbels which involve rounds of drinking, hailing various spirits and making boasts. Some aspects of Asatru emphasise warrior virtues and consequently Heathenry has suffered from a “macho” image problem, but this is slowly changing. Heathens may celebrate the same eight festivals as Wiccans, or they may focus on particular festivals mentioned in the Lore, such as Winternights and Yule. Unlike Wiccans, Heathens are very focused on reconstructionism and accuracy, and so it has rightly been called “the religion with homework.” Like Wicca, most heathens believe in spirits of nature and the importance of looking after the earth, as she is the goddess Nerthus or Jord.

Druidry has a long history. Originally the Druids were the intellectual class of the Celtic peoples. They were made up of Bards, Ovates and Druids, and acted as the teachers, lawyers, doctors, priests and political advisors of that culture. The religion ended when the Romans took over but an attempt to revive it began in the 1700’s and grew into a successful Meso-Pagan religion. In Modern times, Druidry has become one of the largest movements within Neopaganism. There are many similarities between revivalist Druidry and Wicca, in particular their emphasis on a god and goddess, the importance of nature worship, a belief in reincarnation and the celebration of the eight festivals of the year. Druidry is often more Celtic focused than Wicca and Druids meet in groves rather than covens. The rituals are also much more public than Wicca. Other versions of Druidry, such as that represented by ADF take a more reconstructionist approach and tend to focus on what can be proved historically. Celebrations may be four or eight times a year, but they are polytheists rather than duo-theists and so worship many gods and goddesses.

 

Bibilography

Ellis, Peter B. The Druids. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Pub Co, 1998. Print.

Adler, Margot. Drawing down the moon witches, Druids, goddess-worshippers, and other pagans in America today. New York, N.Y: Penguin/Arkana, 2006. Print.

Hutton, Ronald. The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996. Print.

Bonewits, Isaac. “Defining Paganism: Paleo-, Meso-, and Neo-.” Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “Frequently Asked Questions about Neopagan Druidism.” Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “The Origins of Ár nDraíocht Féin.” Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “What Neopagans Believe.” Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “The Reformed Druids of North America and their Offshoots.” Web.

Hopman, Ellen Evert. “The Origins of the Henge of Keltria.” Web.

Meith, Vickie, and Howard Meith. “The Origins of the Celtic Traditionalist Order of Druids.” Web.

Thuin, Dylan Ap. “The Origins of the Insular Order of Druids.” Web

https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Golden-Bough

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Graves

http://www.keltria.org/

http://pss.uvm.edu/ppp/articles/holgreens.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yule

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handfasting_(Neopaganism)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dion_Fortune

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermetic_Order_of_the_Golden_Dawn

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermeticism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceremonial_magic

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Jung